Steve Mason gives the Columbus Blue Jackets one of the top young goaltenders in the NHL. Jonathan Quick is doing his best to catch up as he continues to impress in net for the Los Angeles Kings.
After earning another shutout for the Kings, Quick will likely get a chance to blank the Blue Jackets for the second time in a week as the teams meet Monday night.
Mason, a third-round pick in 2006, is 10-7-1 with an NHL-best 1.87 goals-against average. He's coming off his third shutout in 18 games, making 20 saves in a 3-0 win over Philadelphia on Saturday night.
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"If we get a lead on teams we're really difficult to play against and teams don't come back on us," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "The players feel like if we have a lead going into the third period, Mason will not get scored on. That's the confidence we have in him right now."
But Mason had some trouble against Los Angeles (15-15-6) on Tuesday night, with Columbus (15-16-4) losing 3-0 at home.
For Quick, though, it was a game he'll probably always remember. Quick, drafted in the third round a year earlier than Mason, made 24 saves for his first career shutout.
On Tuesday night, Quick earned his second, stopping 26 shots in the Kings' 4-0 win over Phoenix.
Quick is 2-2-0 with a 1.88 GAA in five games, four starts, since being called up from AHL Manchester on Dec. 16.
"You just want to give your team a chance to win every night and the team was playing great in front of me, which made it easier," Quick said. "Now we want to make sure we carry this momentum with us back to L.A. against Columbus."
If Quick is back in net, he'll have a good opportunity to continue his success. Los Angeles is 2-0 against Columbus this season, shutting out the Blue Jackets in both games.
Columbus has the worst power play in the league, converting 10.1 percent of its opportunities, and was shut out in two straight games before beating the Flyers. The Blue Jackets scored two goals or fewer in seven of 10 games prior to that contest.
Columbus was blanked by Phoenix and Los Angeles in its previous two outings and hadn't scored in 127 minutes, 46 seconds entering the game. The streak went another 3:22 before Jan Hejda scored.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, is coming off a strong game on offense, and has scored three goals or more three times in its last four contests.
Alexander Frolov scored twice, Jarret Stoll had a goal and an assist, and Raitis Ivanans added a goal for the Kings versus the Coyotes. Frolov has 11 goals in his last 18 games.
The Kings matched their largest margin of victory this season, reached twice before, both against St. Louis.
Los Angeles, though, will likely have to contend with Mason again. Mason has given up two goals or fewer in five of his six road outings.